Archives: July 2011

What is gluten? Well, being on a gluten free diet, I’ve had to face this exact question many times. Gluten is the glue that makes bread, pastries, pasta, dough, etc. stick together. Technically it’s the protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

Why does gluten affect some and not others? I can’t necessarily answer that question, but what I have realized and noticed is that gluten really does affect everyone it’s just that we’ve been eating it for our entire lives that we don’t recognize the symptoms. After eating a big bowl of pasta, how do you feel? Have you ever stopped to pay attention? Well, my guess is that you will not only feel quite full, but you might be a bit bloated, feeling tired and maybe even light headed.

That’s the gluten working its way throughout your digestive system. You might feel tired because your body is using a whole lot of energy to digest this sticky protein.

My advice to you is to start paying attention to all the signs and messages that your body sends you throughout the day. Don’t throw them to the side because you really want that bowl of pasta. You can still have the pasta but why not try brown rice pasta? It’s easier on the digestive tract and you most likely won’t have the same feeling as you normally do – and, to top it off… it tastes the same!

Here are some of my favorite and must have gluten free items in my pantry/fridge:

Tamari – gluten free soy sauce

Organicville gluten free salad dressing

Brown rice crackers

Bob’s Red Mill gluten free oatmeal

Brown rice pasta

Mary’s Gone Crackers and the cookies too!

Udi’s gluten free granola

Canyon Bakehouse hamburger buns – found at Whole Foods (those are in my freezer.)

Food For Life bread – for toast! (Found at your natural foods store. I keep mine in the fridge.)

Quinoa – A wonderful wholegrain filled with loads of protein!

LaraBars –  Great snack to bring on the road.

Raw nuts of all kind

As for the typical gluten free cookies and baked goods that you find at the store – check the ingredient list and nutrition label as I can almost guarantee that it’s loaded with a lot of sugar – and it may even contain ingredients that you can’t pronounce. My advice is: #1 read all labels and #2 check the sugar contents on everything you eat/drink. Also check the serving size! If a bottle of iced tea says it has 9 grams of sugar but it has 2 servings, you better believe that small bottle has a total of 18 grams of sugar!! That’s way too much sugar for one drink because let’s be honest, you’re definitely going to drink the whole bottle.

Be aware of what goes into your body. Just because something is gluten free does NOT mean it’s healthier for you. Be a smart shopper and read the labels – I can’t say that enough times. There are definitely healthy gluten free products out there, but you have to search for them. Find what you like and report back to me so I can try them too! I’m always looking for new products to try.

I’m a firm believer in the gluten free diet, but it has to be done in a healthy way.

Good luck to you.

Let Go Be Free

After all the excitement about my colonoscopy news I’ve had some time to think about what exactly I’ve done for myself to help in knocking this colitis out.

I’ve had people ask me how I’ve gotten to this point.

Well, here it is: I’ve had a major diet change coupled with yoga, meditation, and breath work and as if that isn’t enough, I see 2 incredible women, I work with a Therapist, I have a family to lean on and friends who stay by my side. My yoga teacher, although new to my mix of healers, has already shown me incredible, life changing tools to better my practice and myself.

Here is just a touch of the amazing healers in my life:

Dr. Crystal Joseph D.C., AK, CCSP: Chiropractor and Applied Kinesiologist.

When I step into Dr. Jo’s office I always know I’m in for a treat. She has incredible hands, which always know where to go. Whenever I have pain I lie on her table waiting for her to test my muscles and find the place that’s “out.” Her massages are unlike any I’ve ever had at a spa because she really knows how to get into the muscle to release whatever’s tight. Sometimes I don’t even have to tell her where to go and she knows… It’s not only about the adjustment though, she’s also very involved in the rest of my health and wants to know anything new that I’m trying or supplements that I’m taking. We always have interesting conversations and it feels like I’m visiting a friend who happens to be the most incredible Chiropractor I’ve ever encountered. Without a doubt, this woman has been a huge proponent in helping me heal my colitis.

Aimee Raupp, MS, LAc: Aimee is my acupuncturist and boy is she incredible! Her office is like my sanctuary – I know I’m there to simply relax for a good 50 minutes and sometimes longer :). Aimee is always interested in me as a whole – that’s why I love her and Chinese Medicine. She takes my pulse, checks out my tongue and then begins needling as though she knows my body like a road map. Aimee knows so much about health, nutrition, supplements and so much more – it’s always interesting talking about these topics with her. I know Aimee has lots of patients but when I’m with her in the room it seems as though I’m the only one that’s important. That’s another reason why she’s so special – she gives her undivided attention at all times and that’s not something that’s always accessible with other practitioners. I always leave her office feeling calm, de-stressed and lighter, much lighter. Aimee also has a big part in helping me to heal.

I mention all of this because this is how I’ve helped myself heal. It’s not just one quick fix…

I’ve learned that to heal myself I need to let go and let myself get taken care of.

Sometimes you have to let others take care of YOU. If you or someone you know suffer from an illness find the right team. It’s so important to let go and let others take care of you. Maybe giving in to just that will help you heal. Find the right protocol for you – we’re all different and our bodies don’t respond in the same way.

Do the search, get recommendations and be free!

I love to share my experiences and can help you find your journey too.

Live long, enjoy life and smile  🙂

Today was an intense day. Colonoscopy day. If you’re under 50 and reading this post, I don’t expect you to understand what it’s like to have this procedure done – but let me tell you, once 50 hits oh man do you all have a treat coming for you!

No, but really – it’s not SO bad, except that it’s bad. HA.

It’s not like I’ve never had this before either. I had my first procedure when I was 13! Can you believe it, little Shira walking into that hospital, brave as can be not knowing what in the world the outcome would be. Now here I am 12 years later doing the exact same procedure, although this time wasn’t in a hospital and my Dr. was new to me.

Well I’ll walk you through it – yesterday I had to drink 2 bottles of magnesium citrate, which tastes like a gross lemon soda and makes me gag after the first sip. Before the procedure I asked my Dr. if I could chase this lovely liquid with coconut water and he sort of looked at me sideways… “you’re the first person to ever ask that before” Well that’s not so surprising since people usually drink Gatorade or some other crap filled drink which I’m simply not into. I needed to keep my electrolytes in check and not throw up the liquid, so coconut water it was – as long as what I drank was clear it was good to go.

Let’s just say I was in the bathroom for the whole night…………

To top it off, I wasn’t even finished by the morning. I woke up at 5am to let it out……….

I won’t go into too much detail, but you get where I’m going with this.

Anyway I arrived at the facility, which was very nice – it was my first time there. When called, I was told to take everything off and put on the robe. As I lay on the bed freezing my butt off I stared up at the fluorescent-lit ceiling praying that the outcome of this procedure would be a good one. All my stress for the past couple of weeks was about to be over, finished and done with.

As I was rolled into the procedure room, my yogic breath flowing through my body, the anesthesiologist came by my side prepping me for a lovely rest. Right before he put me under he said “happy Bastille day everyone!” All I could do was laugh. The next thing I knew I was awake with the worst bellyache ever and tears running down my face. I was so emotional and happy that the procedure was over but still nervous to chat with the Dr. about the results.

Chad came in to sit with me while I got my bearings and brought me the most beautiful sunflowers ever.

These sunflowers immediately turned my frown upside down!

These sunflowers immediately turned my frown upside down!

Finally it was time to talk with the Dr. The most important question of the day was “how does today’s outcome compare to the last procedure done in 2009?” He said he had to go check last years results. I waited patiently.

The outcome:

2009: Colitis was 11-12cm up the colon

2011: Colitis was 2-3cm up the colon and now only in the rectum making it proctitis!!!!!!

Here’s what the Dr. Said after he told me these results:

“Wow, the Rowasa enemas must really be working.”

I didn’t say a word –

The truth:

I BARELY ever take the Rowasa enemas!!! This reversal is all me baby!!

WOW!!!!!!! I’ve done it………… No, it’s not completely gone yet, and I have this strange feeling of not wanting to be happy about this information because I’m worried that I’ll jinx it or something – but when I really think about it, I’M SO HAPPY!!! And excited that all the work I’ve done on myself is finally paying off.

I’m not sure if there are any cases of colitis being reversed…. But I’m getting pretty damn close…..

I’m really excited to share this great news with everyone and I hope you can have the same success as me with whatever it is that your working on disease wise.

If you do the work, it truly is possible – miracles can happen.

Cheers to that and feeling great!



Last night I had the opportunity to try a special yogic cleanse called Dhauti. In Hatha Yoga there are numerous cleansing techniques and this is one of them. You have to be guided by a teacher and in my case my teacher Will is certain that this cleanse is going to cure my colitis or definitely make me feel better!

Anyway, it’s only been less then 24 hours, so I can’t tell if I’m cured, but what I can tell is that my digestive tract and belly have been in a resting state for a lot of hours now and I am in awe.

You know when someone lies down on your belly to rest and they say, wow there sure is a lot going on in there! Well that is always the case for me. Last night after the cleanse I was resting and Chad in his loving way came to rest with me. I kindly asked him to put his head on my belly and tell me what he heard… S.I.L.E.N.C.E. is what he said.

I am so excited that I’ve had the opportunity to let my belly rest in this special way. My body is in harmony and my soul is able to rest knowing there is no pain.

I am excited and hopeful that this will be part of a new wave of feeling great!

I will continue eating very easily digestible foods for the next 2 meals and after that I’ll eat clean food until eternity!

Thanks to Will for showing me the way – I am grateful in every way.